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How to apply

Find out how to apply for your preferred course
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The process depends on whether you're applying as an undergraduate, postgraduate, domestic or international student. 

Once you have commenced an application, you can save and return to it later using login details which will be sent to you by email.

Your application will generally need to include all supporting documents, including certified copies of your academic transcript, and any additional requirements of your course.  You may also need to demonstrate your English language proficiency if your qualification is from an institution that does not primarily teach in English.

Are you a domestic student?

You are a domestic student if you are: an Australian or New Zealand citizen (including dual citizens), a permanent resident of Australia or a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Select from the options below to find out how to apply.

Further down, you can read information on:

I am applying for ...

Undergraduate study as a domestic student

Please note that there have been some changes to the application process. How you apply depends on your qualifications and the course for which you are applying.

In general, prospective domestic undergraduate students apply through the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth Supported Place. The University generally participates in the UAC offer rounds listed below, but not all courses are available in every round. Refer to the UAC website for key dates and details for offer rounds.

  • Semester 1 -  October, December, January Round 1, January Round 2, February Round 1.
  • Semester 2 – June Round 2, July Round 2

However, you must apply directly to the University if you are applying for one of the following courses:

  • Sciences-Po dual degrees (even if you are applying through UAC for other degrees)
  • Undergraduate diplomas
  • Non-award study
  • Cross-institutional study.

To apply directly to the University, visit Find a Course and search for your course, then click on the "Apply now" button on the course page. 

You can use one of the application checklists on the right to help guide you through the steps to begin your studies with us.

Undergraduate study as an international student

How you apply depends on your qualifications and the course for which you are applying.

Apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) if you are completing:

  • a current Australian Year 12 secondary school examination (eg. NSW Higher School Certificate, Victorian Certificate of Education, Queensland Certificate of Education) in or outside Australia
  • a current International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in Australia
  • a current New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3  qualification.

The University generally participates in all the UAC international offer rounds. Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

Apply directly to the University if you are:

  • an applicant not covered in the above UAC categories

  • applying for a Sciences-Po dual degree (even if you are applying through UAC for other degrees).

To apply directly to the University, visit Find a Course and search for your course, then click on the "Apply now" button on the course page.

You can use one of the application checklists on the right to help guide you through the steps to begin your studies with us.

To find out more about qualifications we accept, visit our Undergraduate Entry Requirements page.

We recommend applying well before the closing date for your course, to ensure you have adequate time to arrange your student visa, flights and accommodation.

A non-refundable application processing fee of A$100 is charged for new prospective students. This fee is waived if you’re a sponsored student, or if you are granted an exemption by a University staff member during an office interview or recruitment event.

If you would like to apply through a University approved agent, we have partnered with a range of agents and representatives who can apply to the University and make arrangements on your behalf.

Undergraduate study as a current student

If you are currently enrolled in a bachelor degree at the University of Sydney and intend to transfer to another bachelor degree, how you apply will depend on the course to which you wish to transfer.

For some undergraduate courses within the same faculty you can apply directly to the faculty for an 'allowable course transfer'. Contact your faculty to find out if your preferred course is an allowable course transfer.

For more information on how to apply to transfer visit the transferring courses webpage.

If you are a domestic student currently enrolled in a diploma and wish to transfer to a bachelor degree, you must apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Refer to the UAC website for key dates.

If you are a domestic student currently enrolled in a bachelor degree and would like to apply for an undergraduate diploma, you must submit an application directly to the University via our Find a Course website.

Honours as a domestic or international student

Honours is a year of additional study following an undergraduate degree. There are two types:

  • embedded honours (for internal applicants)
  • stand-alone honours year (for external and internal applicants)

Entry to honours in your chosen major or discipline usually requires an undergraduate degree with a minimum credit average.

Most faculties accept applicants to honours from other universities, so if you’ve completed your degree elsewhere, you can still apply to do honours with us (see Changing universities).

Attend an honours information evening with your faculty (usually held in September) to find out more about how they handle the honours application process.

Embedded honours (for internal applicants)

Some courses require you to complete a pre-honours subject as part of your final undergraduate semester, which means you’ll need to plan for honours up to one year ahead. 

Before the end of your final semester, you should submit your honours thesis topic proposal. However, bear in mind that pre-approval of a particular topic doesn’t guarantee entry to your honours program. 

To qualify for honours, you will still need to achieve the required grades to ensure a high enough weighted average mark (WAM), and show that you have the ability to conduct high-quality academic research.

To apply, contact your faculty's honours coordinator and lodge your application with the faculty.

Stand-alone honours year (internal and external applicants)

See the list of stand-alone honours courses we offer.

To apply, use Find a course to select your honours program, then click the 'apply now' button.

Getting your application together

Regardless of whether you’re an internal or external honours applicant, there are a few common things you will need to do.

1. Show a strong academic record: You’ll need a minimum WAM of 65 to 70 percent. If you’re at Sydney, this is automatically checked along with your application, but if you’re from another university, your application should include an academic transcript.

2. Prepare a research topic proposal: You’ll need to choose a topic, that your faculty considers of academic importance, to study for the entire year. Picking the right topic is crucial to success, so most faculties have an honours coordinator to help you through the process. They may even provide a list of available projects. 

In some faculties, you may be required to put together a preliminary topic proposal which, once approved, will be followed by a more detailed research proposal that will form part of your thesis.

3. Find a supervisor: This person is your mentoring academic for the duration of your honours project. They’ll help you set goals and deadlines, and provide feedback and advice along the way. To find out about available honours projects contact the honours coordinator in your faculty.

4. Fill in the paperwork: When you’re ready to apply, most faculties require you to submit a standard application form with your supporting documents using Sydney Student (if you’re already a student here) or Find a course.

Please note a non-refundable application processing fee of A$100 is charged for new prospective students. This fee is waived if you’re a sponsored student, or if you are granted an exemption by a University staff member during an office interview or recruitment event.

Postgraduate coursework as a domestic or international student

If you are a domestic student applying for the Juris Doctor at the Sydney Law School, you will apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

In every other case, you apply for postgraduate coursework direct to the University, using the 'apply now' option within Find a course to take you to the Sydney Student portal where you apply and upload supporting documents.

Before starting an application, make sure you are familiar with the academic requirements for entry to your chosen course. Some only accept applicants with a related undergraduate degree, and all courses require a minimum grade point average.

If you are an international student, you also need to make sure your undergraduate qualifications are recognised by the University. Contact us for advice.

Once an application has been started, you can save and return to it later using login details that will be sent to you by email.

When to apply

Most applications to start in Semester 1 close on 31 January. There are some exceptions, such as the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Dental Medicine, so check the details at Find a course.

We also have a Semester 2 intake for the majority of our courses, for which the application closing date is 30 June. But, again, there are a few exceptions, so doublecheck the details.

We recommend applying well before the closing dates to ensure the best chance of success, as offers are made on a rolling basis.

The outcome of your application will be emailed to you after it has been assessed by the admissions office and relevant faculty.

Successful applicants will receive an unconditional or conditional offer. Conditional offers will be made firm upon the submission of further documentation. Unconditional offers can be accepted by logging in to Sydney Student.

If you are a domestic student applying for the Juris Doctor at the Sydney Law School, you will apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). Applications for the health sciences graduate entry masters (GEMS) degrees are now direct entry and no longer through UAC. 

International students

Like domestic applicants, you will also apply for postgraduate coursework directly to the University (see above).

But take note of the additional steps in the admissions process, such as applying for a student visa, and paying a deposit before you accept your offer.

A non-refundable application processing fee of A$100 is charged for new prospective students. This fee is waived if you’re a sponsored student, or if you are granted an exemption by a University staff member during an office interview or recruitment event.

If you would like to apply through a University approved agent, we have partnered with a range of agents and representatives who can apply to the University and make arrangements on your behalf.

Postgraduate research as a domestic or international student

Postgraduate research is also called a 'higher degree by research' (HDR). Degrees within this category include a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or master's by research.

Eligibility for admission is dependent on prior research experience. You need to have undertaken a significant research project or thesis either as part of an honours year, or as an assessable component of a master's by coursework degree.

Application and commencement dates

We accept applications for most faculties all year round. We recommend that you apply at least six to eight weeks prior to the start date to allow adequate time for processing and, if necessary, your visa application. You can start your study in any of the four research periods.*

Research period 1: 1 January - 28 February, 2016. Enrol between 1 December 2015 and 31 January, 2016. Commence no later than the census date: 31 January, 2016. 

Research period 2: 1 March - 30 June, 2016. Enrol between 1 February and 31 March, 2016. Commence no later than the census date: 31 March, 2016.

Research period 3: 1 July - 30 September, 2016. Enrol between 1 April -31 August, 2016. Commence no later than the census date: 31 August, 2016. 

Research period 4: 1 October - 31 December, 2016. Enrol between 1 September - 31 October, 2016. Commence no later than the census date: 31 October, 2016. 

*Not all faculties offer all research periods and some have specific closing dates. Visit Find a course to find the starting semester for your degree.

If you don’t know the results of your first degree, you should still submit your application, and supply the results as soon as you receive them.

Scholarships

The University of Sydney has one of the largest research scholarships schemes in Australia.  However, scholarships are very competitive and some are assessed on academic merit and research potential.

Many students apply for a scholarship and a place in a research degree concurrently. Most scholarship applications require proof that you have applied for a research degree with the University of Sydney.

How to apply

Step 1: Choose a degree and check your elibiligity 
Admission is highly competitive. Start by reviewing the types of degrees we offer and check the eligibility requirements for the research degree you would like to apply for. 

Step 2: Develop your research ideas
Carefully consider the subject of your research and find out if your interests align with any academic members of staff. 

Step 3: Find a supervisor
You’ll need a staff member whose academic interests align with yours and who has agreed to mentor you for the duration of your course.  Finding the right supervisor is just as critical as selecting a research topic.

Use the Research Supervisor Connect database to search for current research supervisors and research projects. Use the “Contact Research Expert” button on the project page to submit an enquiry to a supervisor. It’s important for them to understand:

  • your academic background and research experience
  • the topic or area you would like to research
  • why you would like them to supervise your project
  • how your proposed research project aligns with their background and experience.

To help support your research enquiry, you should include the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Academic transcript for all your completed degrees.
  • An initial research proposal. In no more than 2000 words demonstrate how your research experience aligns with the supervisor’s and why you’re interested in this opportunity. You’ll need to tailor your research proposal to each opportunity you enquire about.

You and the supervisor will discuss and refine the research project before you submit your application.

The University of Sydney Business School and the Sydney Law School require you to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) as evidence of supervision prior to submitting an application. If approved, they will invite you to apply for the degree.

Step 4: Submit your application
Required documentation can vary, so please check the requirements for your degree.

Essential documents for HDR applications:

  • Research proposal. In conjunction with your supervisor you’ll develop an initial research proposal of at least 500 words, covering the objectives and significance of your research. 
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Evidence that a primary supervisor has agreed to supervise you.  This could be a copy of the email correspondence showing the staff member’s agreement to supervise you. The Faculty of Architecture also require evidence that an auxiliary supervisor has agreed to oversee you. The University of Sydney Business School and the Sydney Law School require your EOI as evidence. Sydney College of the Arts doesn’t require evidence of supervision, however, you must submit a portfolio with your application.
  • All official academic documents in the original language and English translation.
  • Passport, Birth certificate or Citizenship certificate (domestic).
  • Two referee reports
  • Part-time statement if applying for part-time study (domestic).

Submit your application online by finding your course and selecting ‘Apply now’ at the bottom of the page. You can save and return to your application, upload documentation, and formally accept an offer if your application is successful.

Step 5: Assessment of your application
We will assess your application and advise you of one of the following outcomes. 

  • Acceptance to the program (an unconditional offer).
  • A conditional offer. For example, if you don’t have all your academic results or if you didn’t meet the English language requirements, we may make you a conditional offer.
  • An alternative offer. For example, if the faculty you’d applied to can’t offer a doctorate level, we may give you an alternative offer. You can apply to upgrade this qualification at the end of your research program if you satisfy the minimum academic requirements for the course as outlined in the faculty handbook.
  • We will not make any offers if you haven’t supplied sufficient documentation.

English proficiency

If English isn't your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can enrol at the University of Sydney. Please check the full details for the English-language requirements for admission.

Part-time PhD students (domestic only)

If you intend to study part-time, you’ll also need to supply:

  • evidence that shows you’ll have sufficient time available to carry out the research under the supervision of the University, and complete the course within the maximum period allowed for a part-time PhD enrolment
  • a declaration from your employer (if relevant) confirming that you will be permitted to take the time required to effectively pursue your studies.

If you have a question about entry requirements or the application process for a higher degree by research (PhD), please contact us.

Additional selection criteria

In addition to submitting your main application to study, some courses require you to attend an interview, give an audition, or supply a portfolio. You will be assessed on your performance in these areas, along with your academic grades. Specific details are given on faculty websites and in Find a course.

Learn more about course-specific application requirements for:

Supplementary application forms

For some courses, you will need to fill out a supplementary application form. Download the relevant form here.

Document submission guidelines

During the application process, you may be asked to attach supporting documents. These must be true and complete records. You can scan these documents and upload them online.

You should be prepared to provide original documents or original certified copies of supporting documents upon request at any time. Failure to do so may result in your candidacy being rejected.

Detailed checking of supporting documents is an inherent element of our admissions process and may involve asking for verification from the original issuing authority, relevant tertiary admissions centre, or other organisation.

Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by a complete English translation made by an accredited translator with a government body or the Registrar of the issuing institution.

Applicants from the People's Republic of China may have their academic transcripts referred to the Ministry of Education's China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Centre (CDGDC) for authentication.